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U.S. Adds 224K Jobs in June, Beating Expectations; DOJ Asks Judge to Dismiss China Tech Giant Huawei's Lawsuit; Biden Vows to Bring Back Obamacare's Individual Mandate Penalty for not having Insurance. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired July 05, 2019 - 09:00   ET


[09:00:41] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A very good Friday morning to you. I'm Jim Sciutto. Poppy Harlow is off today and welcome to a special edition of NEWSROOM on this holiday week. And we start with breaking news.

The U.S. economy adding 224,000 jobs in June, a strong comeback after what was a disappointing May. The unemployment rate standing at 3.7 percent.

Let's get right to CNN business correspondent Alison Kosik with more on the numbers.

So what's behind this big jump here particularly after a slower May?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. If anybody, Jim, was convinced that May with 72,000 jobs added was the beginning of a trend, I think June is giving you your answer that it looks like May was really just a fluke. So, 224,000 jobs added in June. Some of this may be because students are out of school and they're taking jobs for the summer. But this number certainly blowing away expectations. You had mentioned the unemployment rate. It did tick up actually from

3.6 percent to 3.7 percent. But for good reason because 335,000 people jumped into the labor force. They are counted in that unemployment number. Where were these jobs added? High-paying jobs in business,

construction, 21,000. That's a good sign because the real estate market has slowed considerably over the past several months. Manufacturing jobs also seeing a rebound there, an addition of 17,000 jobs. Now one thing I did notice stock futures, the stock market is open

today, falling 100 points, an expected drop at the open of 100 points for the Dow. There is a big concern now that the Fed is going to have a hard time justifying cutting rates. It's part of the reason we've seen the major indices all move to fresh new highs as of the close on Wednesday. But now you're seeing investors get really nervous that the Fed may

have a hard time justifying why it would go ahead and cut rates at the end of the month -- Jim. SCIUTTO: Yes. Amidst of a strong economy? Why?


SCIUTTO: Alison Kosik, thanks very much. KOSIK: Sure.

SCIUTTO: Now to a CNN exclusive, Vice President Joe Biden sits down with our colleague, Chris Cuomo, talking about the economy as well as health care and immigration, laying out why his policies can push him ahead in this tightening race for the Democratic nomination.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You versus the rest of the field on the economy. They're all going big, 70 percent tax rates, free college, re-architecture of the economy, a forgiving debt for college which happens to be the biggest asset on the American government's balance sheet. You do not believe in those things?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't believe in the way they're doing it. For example, I think there should be health care for everyone. I have a plan how to do that's rational and will cost a hell of a lot less and will work. In terms of --

CUOMO: Too incremental?

BIDEN: No, it's not incremental. It's whole.

CUOMO: Would you bring back the individual mandate?

BIDEN: Pardon me?

CUOMO: Would you bring back the individual mandate?

BIDEN: Yes. Yes, I'd bring back the individual mandate.

CUOMO: Think that would be popular?

BIDEN: Well, it's not -- yes, now it would be, compared to what's being offered. And here's the deal, Chris. We're in a situation where if you provide an option for anybody who in fact wants to buy into Medicare for All, they can buy in. They buy in, and they can do it. But if they like their employer-based insurance, which a lot of unions broke their neck to get, a lot of people like, they shouldn't have to give it up.

The flip of that is, if you don't go my way you -- and you go their way you have to give up all of that. And what's going to happen when you have 300 million people landing on a health care plan? How long is that going to take? What's it going to do? And in the meantime a lot of people are going to be in trouble.

In terms of economy, Chris, I've been proposing for a long time. And I -- look, I know I'm middle class Joe. I get that part. It's not meant I'm sophisticated. It meant, I'm, you know, the middle class built this country. You didn't have Wall Street build this country. And how did they do it? You gave people a chance, you allowed them to maintain their dignity. And how did they do it? How can you have dignity without having health care? How can you have dignity without having access to an education? How can you have dignity unless you can live in a neighborhood that's not fouled by the environment and what's going on.

CUOMO: How do you convince the party that these more advanced ideas like all in for Medicare for All that matter to them --

BIDEN: I would call them advance. I would call them --

CUOMO: Well, they're popular in the party.

BIDEN: Well, by the way, watch. That's what this election is about. I'm really -- I'm happy to debate that issue and all those issues with my friends because, guess what, again, look who won the races.

[09:05:07] Look who won last time out. We had -- and by the way, I think Ocasio-Cortez is a brilliant bright woman, but she won a primary. In the general election fight who won? Mainstream Democrats who are very progressive on social issues and very strong on education, health care. Look, my North Star is the middle class. When the middle class does well, everybody does well.

CUOMO: How do you do better for them economically if not with these 70 percent tax rates?

BIDEN: Well, three things. One, I do raise the tax rate to 39.5 percent. I do in fact eliminate the ability for them to write off capital gains the way they do now. I would raise the -- and raise billions of dollars, raise the corporate tax rate from 20 percent to 28 percent. It was 36 percent. To 28 percent. I'd raise billions of dollars.

CUOMO: Trump will say but I -- that's what brought the economy up to where it is, is those tax cuts.

BIDEN: Ask these people who work in these restaurants how that economy came up for them. Ask them how good they feel about it. Ask them how the stock market is really helping, ask how driving us $2 trillion greater in debt has done anything for them.

CUOMO: On health care do you believe that undocumented people should have health care in this country?

BIDEN: I think undocumented people need to have a means by which they can be covered when they're sick. And so the idea is that's what I think we should be doing by building more clinics around the country not just for undocumented but other people when they're ill, when they're sick. People need -- this is just common decency. You're not going to let somebody --

CUOMO: Some popular.

BIDEN: I know --

CUOMO: Well over 50 percent people polled say undocumented people here should not have health care on our dime.

BIDEN: Well, let me tell you something. In an emergency, they should have health care. Everybody should. Anybody here in the country. How do you say, you're undocumented, I'm going to let you die, man? What are you going to do? You know what I mean? The idea that, you know, I hear this stuff about how, you know, they're killing Social Security, et cetera. Those who have jobs, guess what, they've increased the life-span of Social Security by close to a dozen years. I mean, we've got this -- this is part of what Trump is playing on. He's playing --

CUOMO: It works for him this issue, the idea of law and order versus a left that seems like it's open borders because it means its lawless. You have people who are running close to you now who are saying decriminalize coming into the country illegally. Do you believe that should be decriminalized?

BIDEN: No. No, I don't. No, I don't. I think people should have to get in line. But if people are coming because they're actually seeking asylum, they should have a chance to make their case. I would be surging as we did and Barack and I did, surging folks to the border to make those concrete decisions.

Look, the other thing, Chris, is, why are they coming? The reason a vast majority of these people are coming from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador is because they're in trouble. Crime rates are high, education is terrible. In Guatemala you can't turn on a light switch in half the amount. And so what do we do? I've put together a $740 million program with Republicans, I might add, at the very end, and say, we'll make a deal with you. You do the follow things to make your country better so people don't leave, and we will help you do that just like we did in Colombia.

What did we do in Colombia? We went down and said, OK, and I was one of the architects of Plan Colombia. I said, here's the deal. If you have all these crooked cops, all these the federal police, we're sending our FBI down, you let us get them -- put them through a lie detector test, let us tell you who you should fire and tell you the kind of people you should hire. They did and began to change. We can do so much if we're committed.

CUOMO: What do you say to the people in party right now when polled who say, yes, I like Joe Biden but I think that his ideas are the old ideas, the new ideas, I see a Warren, I see a Sanders, I see a Harris?

BIDEN: I'm not seeing that.

CUOMO: You're polling lower than them. You poll lower than them on ideas for the future. What do you say to them?

BIDEN: I say to them, take a look at my ideas. Take a look at my ideas. I haven't seen those polls. I haven't seen seeing what people say. What I've seen around the country is, the vast majority of Democrats where I am on the issues, we've got to be aggressive and they're big ideas. The big idea on education, on health care, on dealing with the environment, I mean it's just I love how, you know, all of a sudden I wish I had been -- I wish I had been labeled as moderate when I was running in Delaware back in the days when it was --

CUOMO: Eighty percent of your party says its center left.

BIDEN: No, I am center left.

CUOMO: Farther left is getting more attention.

BIDEN: No, no, no.

CUOMO: It's getting amplified.

BIDEN: It is. Look.

CUOMO: It's a disconnect.

BIDEN: Look. It's center left, that's where I am. Where it's not is way left. Now, look, but that's what we could find out. That's what this debate is about.

CUOMO: Do you think you need -- if you win the nomination -- to have a female VP?

BIDEN: I think it'd be great to have a female VP. And if I don't win it'd be great to have a female president. But the question is whose issues are best prepared in their wheel house, they've demonstrated they know how to deal with them?

[09:10:09] CUOMO: Would you consider not having a woman as VP?

BIDEN: I would -- look, here's the first thing about being a VP I've learned and that is that in today's environment, there's so much a president has on his or her plate, they need someone they completely trust, that they're simpatico with. At the same -- the same approach, political approach, and you can delegate significant authority.

The president when he delegated authority to me from the Moon Shot to Ukraine he gave me the authority to make decisions, because he knew I knew where he was, he knew that I knew something about it and he knew we were simpatico, and I -- so that's what I'm looking for.

CUOMO: Do you think a Democrat ticket can win without a woman in one of the two slots?

BIDEN: Yes, well, the answer is yes. But I don't think that -- I think it helps having a woman on the ticket. And there's a lot of really qualified women out there.

CUOMO: Is Kamala Harris, assuming she doesn't win outright, is she still somebody you would consider as a running mate?

BIDEN: Look, one of the things I'm not going to get into because it got used before is when I was asked -- I don't even have the nomination and I'm presuming who I might pick as the vice president. That's easily flipped on me saying, well, Biden is being arrogant. Biden thinks I'll have him as my vice president. So I'm not going to comment on any individual. A woman came up to me, I guess it was, I don't know, a month ago, I guess I was in New Hampshire and said --

CUOMO: All right, I'm almost done.

BIDEN: Why shouldn't I vote for a woman? And I said you should. If you think that person is most qualified at the moment right now to deal with our problem. Well, I'm not suggesting you can't vote for a woman. Look, I have spent my career from writing the Violence Against Women Act, before that to say my daughters and granddaughters can do anything, and I mean anything, anything, that a man can do, anything. And so I don't have a doubt in my mind, and if I started naming some of the people around the country, women who are not running for president as well, who are fully qualified to be vice president, again with be these awful presumptions, man. You know, over presumptuous. So there's a lot of really qualified women out there.

CUOMO: In terms of -- last question. In terms of what we haven't seen from Joe Biden yet --


CUOMO: I remember your -- hey, Jill, last question. Last question, I promise.



BIDEN: OK, well, I will be there in a second.

CUOMO: Last question I promise. The last thing I remember talking him about politically with you -- Beau -- was, you know, what is the quality, you know, because he was asking me about, you know, what do you take from your father and this, what your take -- Beau Biden said to me, nobody fights like my father. What does that mean to you, to fight harder than anybody else?

BIDEN: It means two things. One, to fight without being personal. To fight and convince. The role of a president is to persuade, persuade. Not just go out and fight. If they want someone to clench fists, bear knuckled fight, closed hand, closed heart, they got one of those guys right now. That's not me. I have been pretty good bringing people together.

The whole idea of America is that when we're together there's not a damn thing we can't do. And it's -- look, the most incredible response I always get for the last three years is when I talk about how optimistic am I about the future. People know it, they feel it. They know it. They understand it, and we can't stay in this state.

What are we going to do? What are we going to do if we can't get along better? And part of it is persuasion. And people looking at you and say, I know what he means, he'll stay with what he says, and he'll do what he says he's going to do. And I think that's part of leading. We'll soon find out.

CUOMO: Thank you for the time.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SCIUTTO: In-depth conversation with the former vice president. You can see much more of Chris' interview with Joe Biden in the next hour and see the whole interview tonight starting at 8:00 Eastern Time only here on CNN.

And still to come, no sign of an economic slowdown. Today's job numbers pointing to a strong economy. So do these numbers take away President Trump's case for another interest rate cut? I'm going to ask one of the president's chief trade advisers next.

Plus, another large aftershock rocking Southern California this morning and it may not be the last. We're going to be live there -- look at those pictures -- as it happened.

And more offensive Facebook posts with apparent ties to Border Patrol officers, current ones. Another secret group containing vulgar, offensive posts, the new details just ahead.


[09:15:00] JIM SCIUTTO, HOST, NEWSROOM: Welcome back. This morning, the U.S. jobs reports are passing expectations, but is that bad news for a president who wants the Fed to cut interest rates? Joining me now is Peter Navarro; he's director for White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy. Mr. Navarro, thanks very much for joining.


SCIUTTO: So, let's start with those job numbers, certainly good numbers, 225,000, above expectations, particularly after a slow May. In your view, does that take away the case for the Fed to cut interest rates?

NAVARRO: Well, I love the fact that 17,000 of those were manufacturing --

SCIUTTO: Right, and that was a key one.

NAVARRO: Yes, like 6 million jobs to date, one of the things that I love is that we're getting people back into the labor force. We've got over a million now workers in prime age back into the work force, labor force participation rates going up. Yesterday, the parade I was at -- well, everybody was watching these incredible planes and tanks and everything like that.

[09:20:00] What I saw was jobs. And one of the reasons why we're having this great job creation is how the president has gone about hitting the jobs issue on multiple vectors. I was personally responsible for trying to get things in for like combat vehicles.

So, in places like Lima, Ohio, York, Pennsylvania, we're building those down in Greenville, South Carolina --

SCIUTTO: Sure, defense industry --

NAVARRO: F-16 --

SCIUTTO: General, it's a lot of job, but why --

NAVARRO: Beautiful thing --

SCIUTTO: Do you need to cut rates in the midst of an economic boom?

NAVARRO: Let's talk about what the Fed has done and should do. There's no question, there's absolutely no question that the Fed raised rates too fast, and more importantly they engaged in what's called quantitative tightening --

SCIUTTO: I mean, are there ways to find -- I mean, it's -- we're below 4 percent unemployment, economic growth is strong.

NAVARRO: So back in the '90s when Greenspan was Fed Chair, he raised rates too fast and triggered a recession because he didn't understand the power of technology and allowing us to grow at a robust rate. I think Jay Powell made the same mistake here, he doesn't understand the power of President Trump's deregulatory agenda, the tax cuts that are allowing us to grow with zero inflation.

Jim, this is the bottom line. Jim, this is the bottom line. There's no inflation in the economy when he raised those rates, that's why he shouldn't do it, he cost us --

SCIUTTO: What do you do --

NAVARRO: He cost us a full point of growth.

SCIUTTO: What do you do when the economic circle turns? The trouble is if you cut rates now, you don't have as much leeway to cut rates when the economy actually slows.

NAVARRO: Yes, that seems like to me a silly argument as an economist. Now, I'm not saying you're silly, but for that to be the reason --

SCIUTTO: I was thinking probably -- yes --

NAVARRO: Well, but look, the bottom line is he raised rates when he didn't have to when there was no inflation, cost us probably a half to a full point of growth. There's no inflation now, he should lower those rates back, I think if he did that, there's two things that can get us the 30,000 on the Dow. Cutting the rates and passing the U.S. --

SCIUTTO: The Fed's job is not to get --

NAVARRO: Mexico can't in any agreement --

SCIUTTO: The Fed's job and remit is not to get the Dow up, the Fed's job is to control inflation and to spur economic growth where it can.

NAVARRO: The Dow going up is a leading indicator of our economy. So, to the extent that the stock market is rising, it's simply a ratification of the fact that President Trump has put in place an agenda, tax cuts, deregulation, cheap energy, leveling the playing field on trade.

This is what's going on, and today's news is great news. We've had over --

SCIUTTO: Sure --

NAVARRO: About a 100 months of expansion now. We've had really solid growth. So, we'll have this debate about what the Fed should do, but bottom line is they should cut rates in order to keep men and women in America working and growing this economy.

SCIUTTO: You talk about a debate, of course a debate over economic policy is reasonable.

NAVARRO: Sure --

SCIUTTO: Is the president wrong to call the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell "loco", saying that he could fire him?


SCIUTTO: And it's by design meant to be --


SCIUTTO: Independent of politics --

NAVARRO: So, I share the president's frustration, and I share it all of America with the Fed Chairman who raised rates too fast and engaged in quantitative tightening in the absence of any inflation --

SCIUTTO: Is the Fed Chairman "loco" in your view?


NAVARRO: I'm not going there, Jim.

SCIUTTO: I'm just saying, but are you uncomfortable --

NAVARRO: I'm not going there --

SCIUTTO: Because --

NAVARRO: I totally support the president and his characterizations, and you know, the problem here --

SCIUTTO: But you're uncomfortable --

NAVARRO: There's a -- no, this "loco", hang on, it's loco policy to raise rates when there's no inflation. That's loco.

SCIUTTO: Let's go on to the China trade talks. Steve Mnuchin --

NAVARRO: I didn't realize you spoke Spanish, by the way.

SCIUTTO: Well, I've got a couple of words -- NAVARRO: Loco --

SCIUTTO: Loco is one of them?


SCIUTTO: Let's talk about China trade talks. You were very involved --

NAVARRO: Sure --

SCIUTTO: You were at the G-20 as I was, the president brought you with him. Steve Mnuchin sounds a relatively optimistic note, at least in his public comments and some of those is reading tea leaves. Where do we stand on those trade talks, and do you see China as making the concessions necessary to reach an agreement?

NAVARRO: So, where we stand is quite simply -- we had a very constructive bilat negotiation in Osaka. We agreed to go back to the negotiating table forthwith, and where we stand is Ambassador Lighthizer -- as you and I speak, is re-engaged with the Chinese side. We're going to have good faith negotiations, we'll see where that goes, full stop.

SCIUTTO: OK, as you know, the president of course is using tariffs as a cudgel to get -- to force concessions from China. But you also know that China has its own domestic politics and neither democracy, it has its own domestic politics, and neither Chinese leaders nor the Chinese people going to want to be seen as being bullied by the American president. How are tariffs going to work to get the concessions that you want?

NAVARRO: So, to be clear, the section 301 investigation found China guilty of intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, cyber intrusions, dumping into our markets, all sort of things --

SCIUTTO: Now, that's -- I'll grant you that --

NAVARRO: So, we grant that. So, the tariffs themselves are not a cudgel. They're a defensive measure against Chinese economic aggression -- Jim, and also an important --

SCIUTTO: From the Chinese side, they really must have cudgeled an economic penalty --

[09:25:00] NAVARRO: Well, but there're also -- there're also an important insurance policy to ensure that we have continued ongoing good faith negotiations. The previous administration, and before that, George Bush, when they sat and talked with the Chinese forever, nothing ever happened.

The tariffs are a good policy. They're helping increase our growth rate. They're bringing investment to our shores, they're creating jobs for America, supply chains is moving out of China back home.

SCIUTTO: Well, but they're not -- NAVARRO: All this is good --

SCIUTTO: Actually on that point, the fact is yes, you have supply chain moving out of China. It's not moving back to the U.S., it's moving to countries like Vietnam --

NAVARRO: Some of it --

SCIUTTO: Now, how does that help the American worker?

NAVARRO: Some of it is moving here, some of it is moving to Vietnam, that's all good. We have fair trade with other countries. I think what we have is a situation where the American people are solidly behind us. There was a poll that came out that said 8 out of 10 Republicans support the China tariffs.

SCIUTTO: And Republicans are behind you --

NAVARRO: Fifty three percent of Americans support the tariffs. America, in the two and a half years that President Trump has been in office, he's completely changed the awareness of the China issue. Now, we have a bipartisan consensus both among the people and on Capitol Hill that China is a significant problem.

The only people that don't seem to recognize it --

SCIUTTO: The only problem is --

NAVARRO: Is people, you know, some of the other people on the other side of the fence.

SCIUTTO: On the problem -- not necessarily on the strategy. Final question if I can because --

NAVARRO: Sure --

SCIUTTO: Huawei is a central issue, and as you know --

NAVARRO: Sure, the border issue --

SCIUTTO: The president is now allowing U.S. manufacturers to sell to Huawei. I just want to read what the FBI Director Chris Wray, how he describes Huawei. Of course, the president's appointee. "Companies like Huawei pose a dual threat to both our economic and national security, and the magnitude of these charges make clear just how seriously the FBI takes this threat."

These were charges filed by this Justice Department against Huawei executives. Why is the president -- if it is a threat to national security, why is the president allowing U.S. manufacturers to sell to Huawei?

NAVARRO: So, the Huawei issue, you can divide it into two parts. The big part is having Huawei come into our markets, dominate 5G, that will not happen. President Trump has made it very clear that we will be the innovator and command 5G. So, that's important, nothing has changed in terms of policy, yes, but one thing --

SCIUTTO: Right, but if U.S. manufacturing is selling to them, aren't they helping Huawei?

NAVARRO: Well, the one thing we're doing, and this was in the bilateral, the one thing is a good faith gesture since the president has agreed to sell a modest amount of lower grade chips which have absolutely no national security interest, while keeping Huawei on the entities' list at the Department of Commerce, that's critical, Jim.

SCIUTTO: That's a decision --

NAVARRO: That allows us basically to do what we need to do on Huawei, but it is a bad actor, there's no question about that --

SCIUTTO: OK, Peter Navarro --

NAVARRO: Good to see you --

SCIUTTO: Always good to have you on the program, you're always welcome on our broadcast. Former Vice President Joe Biden laying out his plan for healthcare in an exclusive interview with CNN. And it might sound a bit familiar, is it a winning approach? We're going to discuss after this.